James Franco Reflects on Roast: I Knew Oscar and Gay Jokes Were Coming

Celebrity News Aug. 29, 2013 AT 4:00PM
James Franco on August 25, 2013 James Franco says he knew what kind of jokes to expect during his Comedy Central roast Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.com

James Franco was the butt of many jokes during his Comedy Central Roast, which taped in Culver City, California, on Sunday, but none as plentiful as the zingers about his widely panned Oscar hosting gig and his sexuality.

Roastmaster Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Sarah Silverman, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Jeff Ross (dressed as Franco's Kevin Federline-inspired "Spring Breakers" character), Aziz Ansari, Natasha Leggero, and Nick Kroll, all gathered to pay tribute to their actor/director/scholar/artist/friend. And the evening was about as fun as you could imagine.

Chicken and waffles, edamame falafel, cheddar apple tart, and crab cakes were a few appetizers holding roasters over before the fun began. Wine was flowing and music was blaring as guests like Amy Poehler, Busy Philipps, Matthew Morrison, Ahna O'Reilly (yes, Franco's ex-girlfriend), and Franco's actor brother Dave took their seats.

"Why are we even doing this?" Seth laughed as he walked on stage to get the evening started. "How high was I when I said I would do this? Was this punishment for 'The Guilt Trip'?"

"Who is the real James Franco?" Rogen continued. "Is he an artist? Is he an actor? Is he a scholar? … He's tough to pin down, although I've heard many guys have been able to do it."

Yep — O'Reilly was cracking up as much as everyone else at the first of many gay jokes about the "This Is the End" star. Clearly Rogen, who was self-deprecating yet lovable, set the tone for the night. Not one roaster went on stage and didn't go there — we lost count at 22.

That was just a drop in the bucket of the jokes that came Franco's way, which you'll see when the Comedy Central special airs on September 2.

Still, omg! couldn't help but ask Franco if he texted his buddies and said that anything was off-limits — from those jokes to the Oscars digs — when he agreed to take place in his own roast.

"No, I mean if you're going to this kind of thing, I guess you should be ready for whatever," he laughed. "You know, it's not like I haven't heard criticism about my performance in the Oscars or jokes about my choice of gay roles. So it didn't hurt."

So all in all was he pleased with the night?

"I think it was great," he told omg! backstage. "Everyone was solid. You can't look at what everyone did and think, 'That person was kinda off' or 'That was the bad person.' Everyone was great and different."

The Comedy Central Roast of James Franco airs on September 2 at 10 p.m.

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